Good Omens E01 to E06

Start Date: 26 March 2020

Finish Date: 28 March 2020

IMDb link.

Watched on: Amazon Prime Video India

Notes:

  • If I’m being honest with myself, this was comfort viewing. I had been beating myself up a bit about letting my TV queue slip away from me, and Good Omens seemed low stakes enough to get into – after all, I’d read the book long ago, many times over, and watching it would be more a comparison with the book, then asking my brain to process something new.
  • For me, Adam and the Them were the centre of the book. The TV series makes Aziraphale and Crowley the focus, for good and for bad. The good is seeing the driving motivation shift a bit to “We really can’t have Armageddon take away all our nice restaurants.” How very bourgeois. Also how very Douglas Adams and “Where shall we go for dinner?”.
  • But it also ups the stakes in Episode 3 when it shows Aziraphale struggling with all of God’s atrocities.
  • Now the bad: I’m iffy about how the motivations / justifications for Adam’s final confrontation with the apocalypse play out from “I demand to work it out for myself” to “You’re not my dad.” And likewise for the rest of the Them against the rest of the apocalypse. The feministing was funny but maybe I’m a little bit too attached to the original. Rewatching the miniseries, or at least the finale, will probably help me decide if it’s just me being crotchety.
  • The interlude of Adam Young manifesting all the articles of the New Aquarian was one of my favourite parts of the book, and I was a little let down by how it was quickly skated over in the series. I know, I know, editing is important, everyone’s favourite bits can’t stay in, but oh well.
  • That does reveal, though, just how much of an eighties / early nineties book Good Omens is. I don’t think secret Tibetans and aliens bringing messages of cosmic harmony and suchlike are that much in the zeitgeist now. What would replace it though? All current conspiracy theories I can think of are so toxic in comparison.
  • Brian Cox was Death! Brian Cox!
  • I think I’d have preferred Derek Jacobi to be Death rather than the Metatron.
  • Anathema’s much more of a hottie than I ever pictured the book Anathema being.
  • Jon Hamm as Gabriel was the most delightful change from the book. Pretty much the whole heavenly host was an amazing send up.
  • I never imagined the book Aziraphale to have that white perm which Michael Sheen rocks. That image is never going away now. Oh well.
  • The guy who played Shadwell nailed it.
  • David Tennant was fantastic, but my god, how he’s aged since Doctor Who.
  • Frances McDormand as God was amazing, but the direct narration… I dunno, it didn’t translate all that well. I think this is one of those Anthea Bell level problems of replacing original jokes with equally good but different jokes. Except you have to not just write different jokes, but a different style of joke – visual or dialogue instead of narrated.
  • Am I the only person making Black Pepper jokes?
  • I loved how the metafictional books from the book’s ending were replaced with Richmal Crompton first editions. But I would have preferred Adam or Mr Young’s costume to have been a bit more of a tribute.
  • “Actually” – a little overused, but an improvement on the book, I think.

 

 

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